and... i like them? I think I like them.
Looks like Nike is "rebranding" Illinois - this stuff is actually pretty sharp from where I stand and not too far out of line hence do not get the uniformz treatment; I especially like the two upper basketball uniforms.
The upper orange football one looks Syracuse-ish; can't see enough of their blue jersey version to assess - assuming the pants are orange but who knows.
KCP had 30 points tonight for the Pistons. Shot 11-19, including 5-7 from behind the arc.
Added six rebounds and two steals.
Trey is one of my all-time favorite Michigan players...and yes I was disappointed when the Pistons passed on him...but I'm a life-long Pistons fan so it was nice to see KCP get some PT and take advantage of the opportunity.
There's a lot of talent on this team. If Gores can get the right GM and Coach, this is a playoff team.
Drummond/Moose/KCP/Jennings...and find a decent SF thru FA, trade or draft.
Maybe they can find some moran to take Josh Smith off our hands.
Hoping for a Sacremento victory tonight so we'll be tied for 7th worst record...and then hope everything goes our way so that we keep our pick.
Bad Boys 30 for 30 tomorrow night!
Thought I'd give a quick update on the basketball banquet. Jordan Morgan showed a lot of emotion during his senior speech (pulling out his own tissue when someone tried to bring him some), and seemed genuinely grateful to his coaches and teammates for helping him to get to where he ended up. Beilein talked about how Morgan could have become discouraged or just quit last year when McGary emerged, but instead kept working.
Here are the awards I recall (funny and serious intermixed);
MVP, Most assists and likely to be the first to get married: Stauskas
Most improved: Levert (interestingly Donnal was 3rd)
Best Dressed: Robinson
Most likely to succeed in something other than basketball: Morgan
Best defender and Rebounder: Morgan
Iron Man: Robinson
There were some others that mostly went where you'd expect. Though the night pretty much was a standard awards banquet with videos, awards, speeches etc. there were a couple of funny moments. Beilein said that he asked players to anonymously vote for the year's biggest moment, with most picking beating Indiana at home and cutting down the nets. 2 guys voted for "going to Puerto Rico", which made Beilein wonder what happened there. Beilein also said, when thanking the student managers, that they "have to party on behalf of the entire team" since the players can't.
Another quick observation is that these guys seem like a really tight knit group. I was sitting near some parents and noticed players coming up and hugging not just their own parents but their teammates' families as well.
He earned and invitation to the Kevin Durant Skills Academy this summer and will probably attend the camp that takes place the end of June.
USC guard Byron Wesley will graduate and transfer.
Wesley averaged almost 18 points for the Trojans and would be an interesting stop-gap if we don't land Eron Harris. No word on his interest, and he is from CA. But he shoots the ball well inside the arc.
The Terrapins are a hard team to predict next year as they have a lot of experience along with youth. However, they did not finish all that well this year. I did not watch a whole lot of Maryland last year so I really do not know how they play. Maryland loses John Auslander to graduation. They also lose Nick Faust, Shaquille Cleare, Roddy Peters, and A.J. Metz who are transferring. This means losing:
When you bring in a top 10 recruiting class, which the Terps did, it is not all that hard to replace this production. Here is their senior laden roster:
# Name HT WT YR POS
1 Evan Smotrycz 6-9 230 RS.SR. SF
OH Lobstrycz Smotrycz, I think we are all familiar enough with Evan. In his first year off the transfer Smotrycz started and averaged 11 points per game. His stellar handle and amazing defense will be tough to match this year. He is like Larry Bird but way better.
32 Dez Wells 6-5 215 SR. SG
The starting Shooting Guard, averaged 14.9 points per game last year. He will most likely be their go-to-guy this year.
24 Jacob Susskind 6-5 200 SR. SF
The back-up Small Forward, will hold that role until Nickens takes it over. He only played in 5 games last year. This means he will be the back-up for like a game.
11 Varun Ram 5-9 150 SR. PG
The back-up Point Guard, a towering man. Just kidding, he is short. He only played in 16 games last year so a freshman passing him up is not a bad bet.
25 Jonathan Graham 6-8 220 SR. PF
The back-up Power Forward, played a limited role last year. Will most likely maintain that role.
15 Spencer Barks 6-9 225 SR. PF
Played in four games last year, will not get much more time this year.
0 Charles Mitchell 6-8 260 JR. C
A mountain of a man, the starting Center. He averaged six points and six rebounds per game last year. If he lost 10 pounds, he may be a real force.
12 Conner Lipinski 5-10 155 JR. PG
Only played in 3 games last year. Will be the third string Point Guard if it falls to that.
10 Jake Layman 6-8 205 JR. PF
The starting Power Forward, averaged 11.7 poins per game last year along with decent rebounding numbers.
4 Seth Allen 6-1 190 JR. PG
The starting Point Guard with a 13.4 points per game average last year. Will be their second go-to-guy.
35 Damonte Dodd 6-9 240 SO. C
The back-up Center for the beginning of the season. Will likely be moved down due to incoming freshman.
Jared Nickens 6-6 185 FR. SF
Their highest touted recruit, a four star that will no doubt play right away. He will eventually end up passing Susskind for his spot.
Trayvon Reed 7-1 215 FR. C
Needs to add weight but will no doubt play. Will pass up Dodd for his spot. He is a four star.
Romelo Trimble 6-3 180 FR. SG
The back-up Shooting Guard with pretty polished skills. A four star.
Dion Wiley 6-4 200 FR. SG
The third string Shooting Guard, could play the two with Trimble at the one. Yet another four star.
Michal Cekovsky 7-0 220 FR. C
I say he is going to redshirt. He is an okay weight, but passing up a higher ranked center and a Sophomore is not that likely. When you can redshirt four stars you are doing okay for yourself.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Point Guard: Seth Allen
Shooting Guard: Dez Wells
Small Forward: Evan Smotrycz
Power Forward: Jake Layman
Center: Charles Mitchell
Michigan plays them at Maryland which will be a tough game. They are good at home, along with every other college basketball team.
This will be an experienced and talented team that may have a hard time winning on the road in the Big Ten. However, I think they will have some growing pains with the new officiating and finish 10-8 in the B1G which is good enough for 7th place.
Next up... Iowa